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The NBA has postponed the first Los Angeles Lakers game following former player Kobe Bryant’s shocking death on Sunday.
“The National Basketball Association game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the LA Clippers scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 28 at Staples Center has been postponed,” the league tweeted Monday. “The decision was made out of respect for the Lakers organization, which is deeply grieving the tragic loss of Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other people in a helicopter crash on Sunday.”
The league did not state when the game would take place following the decision.
In its first statement about Bryant’s death, issued later on Monday, the Lakers said, “The Los Angeles Lakers would like to thank all of you for the tremendous outpouring of support and condolences. This is a very difficult time for all of us. We continue to support the Bryant family and will share more information as it is available.”
L.A. institutions have been paying tribute to Bryant since it was reported the former guard and his daughter Gianna had died in a helicopter accident early Sunday. Radio stations in Southern California honored the basketball icon with eight seconds of silence on Monday, in reference to one of Bryant’s jersey numbers, No. 8. ESPN also announced Monday that it will re-air Bryant’s final NBA game at 6 p.m. PT on Monday to “honor [his] life and legacy.”
Fans gathered around Staples Center, where Bryant played for the Lakers, on Sunday to mourn the athlete by placing bouquets of flowers outside, chanting and holding signs. Later that night, the venue played host to the Grammy Awards, which honored the former basketball star over the course of the ceremony: During Lizzo’s kickoff performance, the singer declared that “Tonight is for Kobe,” while host Alicia Keys paid tribute to Bryant during a monologue and stars including Billy Ray Cyrus, Priyanka Chopra, Aerosmith and Run DMC made mentions of him throughout the night.
NBA on TNT also plans a tribute on Tuesday, Jan. 28, during pregame coverage inside the Staples Center with Inside the NBA’s Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith joined by Dwyane Wade, Candace Parker and Steve Nash.
At Los Angeles’ Vineyard and Pickford Streets, a mural was unveiled on Monday in tribute to Bryant and his daughter, ABC 10 reported. The image reads “Kobe & Gigi Forever” and “Daddy’s Girl.”
A new mural honoring @kobebryant and his 13-year-old daughter was created in Mid-City Los Angeles less than 24 hours after they were killed in a tragic helicopter crash with seven other people. This is at Vineyard and Pickford Street. @ABC10 #RIPKobeBryant pic.twitter.com/Feu3WBVkdk
— Lena Howland (@LenaHowland) January 28, 2020
New York also planned to remember the lifetime Laker on Monday by lighting the Empire State Building purple and gold, NYC & Company’s global communications office tweeted.
Bryant played for the Los Angeles Lakers for 20 years, during which time he became a five-time NBA champion and 18-time All-Star. Over the course of his career, he became the Lakers’ leader in points scored, games played, three-pointers, steals and free throws. Bryant was the first NBA player to spend 20 years with one franchise.
Nine people in all were killed in the helicopter crash in which Bryant and one of his daughters, 13-year-old Gianna, died, per the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, including Orange Coast College coach John Altobelli, his wife Keri and 13-year-old daughter, Alyssa; as well as youth basketball coach Christina Mauser. The crash is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.
Jan. 27, 4 p.m. Updated to include Lakers statement and NBA on TNT statement.
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James Gordon Meek